Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Equal Opportunity Candidate

Special bonus: how Donald Trump will start World War Three!

Calling the North Korean leader "Fat Boy" to his face, instead of behind his back like every other world leader.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Who's Cruzy Now?

Iowa Republican caucuses winner Ted Cruz's victory speech - after the obligatory nod to God - sought to project him as a grassroots anti-establishment candidate, an outsider.  The next President of the United States, he claimed, "will not be chosen by the Washington establishment" and "will not be chosen by the lobbyists".  Presumably this indicates that Cruz - a Senator in Washington, whose campaign contributors [and here] include a bunch of SuperPACs as well as the usual Wall Street suspects like the oil and gas industry and financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, the controversial investment bank up to its ears in both the 2008 financial crisis and the Greek debt crisis - does not expect to become the next President!

Cruz is no stranger to self-contradiction - according to the BBC, as solicitor general "he argued in favour of the death penalty and late-term abortion bans", thereby contriving to be simultaneously both pro-life and anti-life!  But that is a contradiction he shares with most of the religious right wing in America, to whom human life is apparently more valuable before birth than afterwards.

Cruz is not of course the only Republican candidate who hasn't thought things through - Marco Rubio, third-placed Republican candidate in Iowa, blames mental illness for America's epidemic of gun violence.  At the same time, he has vowed to dismantle President Obama's health care reforms which have made health care more affordable for millions.  Perhaps he wants more untreated nutcases roaming the streets with guns?

One of the stated aims of this blog is "to make sense of the world".  Guys like this make that very difficult,

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Carrie on Dreaming

Beleaguered Chief Secretary Carrie Lam appeared on the TV news a couple of days ago at the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Fun Day in front of a banner proclaiming:
 "Your Dreams.  Our Goals."
(Unfortunately I have not been able to find a photo of this online - perhaps the media are getting tired of reporting every boring move made by senior government figures.)

Apparently this is the HKIE's slogan, not the government's latest vacuous feel-good campaign, but it did get me thinking:

Some of My Dreams
The Government’s Goal?
Real democracy
Human rights
Protection of the Country Parks
Rule of law / judicial independence
Academic freedom
Universal pension scheme
A cap on tourist numbers
Conservation of historic heritage
No white elephant projects

I guess one man’s dream is another man’s (or Party’s) nightmare.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Odd Things Happening All Over

"Very odd things are happening nowadays in the Legislative Council," says Chief Secretary Carrie Lam.  And how right she is - there is the spectacle, for example, of her government colleague, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Greg So, arguing that the government can't approve the amendments to the Copyright Amendment Bill proposed by the pan-democrats because "they haven't been thoroughly discussed with the public".  In other words, he is arguing that LegCo should pass the bill even though, on his own admission, it has not been the subject of adequate public discussion.

It seems to be becoming a habit for this government to argue that something must be implemented immediately despite widespread objections, usually with the sop that it can be reviewed some time later (which it probably never will be).  One example of this was of course the fake universal suffrage bill.  Clearly they have never heard of the maxim "Get it right first time" (nor indeed, in many cases, grasped the concept of getting it right at all!)

Pretty odd things are going on outside LegCo as well.  For example Lifelong College, exposed by Apple Daily as peddling fake (or at least unearned) degrees to, among others, council members of Lingnan University, 17 police officers, a District Councillor (DAB, naturally - the party already has form in that area with the Quat Doctor), and a TVB actress, claims that the newspaper's exposé is “unethical”.  Richard Nixon should have tried that argument on the Washington Post.

And across the Pacific, Sarah Palin and her new best friend Donald Trump (they should form a singing duo called the Intellectual Lightweights) are blaming Barack Obama for the arrest of Palin's son, who got drunk and ran amok with a gun.  It's certainly true that mental health care for veterans could be improved, but given his mother's loopiness, Trick (what kind of name is that?) Palin's mental condition could owe as much to heredity as to his army service.

The Trump/Palin linkup is interesting.  For Palin, the lure is presumably another shot at the Vice-Presidency.  For Trump, putting Palin on the ticket could be a safeguard against assassination if he gets elected.  Who'd bump him off knowing that she was next in line to the White House?

PS - correction - that should be Track Palin, not Trick.  less tricky, but just as weird.

And yesterday Greg So told the media that the copyright bill had been the subject of very thorough public consultation - more or less the opposite of what he told LegCo the day before.   Duplicity is the word of the day.